We had our first frost of the season last night. Though it was only a little earlier than usual, it felt like a shock because the fall till now has been so warm and wet, the leaves failing to turn, the grass standing thick and damp in the fields.
Today I learned that my grandmother, my Po Po, has passed away; it was around noon, in the light of day. She was 98. She outlived my grandfather and my mother, her eldest daughter, and spent a long old age close to those of her children and grandchildren who lived in the Northeast. Until her years overtook her, she enjoyed the cherry tomatoes by the side of her house. She had scallions growing among her potted plants inside, and there was always a bunch of bananas hanging on a stand on the table.
Yesterday afternoon, in haste, I gathered in the last of the tender crops ahead of the frost, anticipating the withered vines and frost-blackened leaves of morning. The tomatoes–some of them–were still green, the basil not yet bolted. And though one can’t deny the passage of time, that province devoid of choice, it still felt too soon.